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Keywords:

  • bipolar neurons;
  • cones;
  • eyes;
  • lizardfishes;
  • pigment layer;
  • retina size;
  • rods;
  • synapses

Abstract

Fishelson, L., Delarea, Y. and Goren, M. 2012. Comparative morphology and cytology of the eye, with particular reference to the retina, in lizardfishes (Synodontidae, Teleostei). —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 93: 68–79.

The retinas of nine species of lizardfishes (Synodontidae) are composed of double cones, single cones, and rods. The cones are 16–28 μm long, and their number in the fundus of adult Synodus variegatus reaches ca. 32,900 mm2 (varying from ca. 300,000 to ca. 390,000 in a 10 mm2 of the retina), while in Saurida spp., they number ca. 12,000–14,000/mm2. The cone ellipsoids are with up to 600 mitochondria, 0.5–1.6 μm in diameter. The rods are 30–50 μm long; their outer segments 0.6–1.2 μm thick and 15–18 μm long; their inner segments elongated. Their number varies from 15 to 128 million/retina. In fish of similar dimensions but of different species, the number of visual cells in the retina differs. In all species, the eyes increase from 2.0 mm in diameter in the smallest fish studied to 12 mm in the largest one. With eye growth, the retina in the various species increases from ca. 3.8 mm2 in the smallest fish to ca.160.0 mm2 in the large Saurida macrolepis. The possible ecological aspects of the observed phenomena are discussed.